A spa is the polar opposite of an airport. Spas are relaxing. You look forward to going to a spa, and feel sad leaving it. Spas relieve tension, and send you on your way feeling rejuvenated. Airports, on the other hand, are perhaps the least relaxing places on earth. You dread going there, and can’t wait to leave. They create tension, bring out the worst in us, stoke resentment against our fellow man, and leave us feeling emotionally and physically depleted. The concept of putting a spa in an airport may sound ridiculously paradoxal, but maybe that’s exactly what makes it such a good idea.
Enter Be Relax, the spa rapidly spreading to airports around the world. Designed to provide accessible relaxation options to weary travelers, Be Relax spas set up shop exactly where they’re needed most – in the travel world’s hectic, stressful epicenter.
What is Be Relax?
The fact that airports are stressful isn’t just an anecdotal truth gleaned from personal experience, and talking to our friends and family. In a 2019 survey conducted by Priority Pass in the UK, stress was as much a fixture of the airport experience as going through security, or overpaying for water at Hudson News. The survey found people stress about pretty much every aspect of airports. It’s not just security and flight delays, but also things like getting separated from their friends, misplacing a passport, and missing the boarding call.
Indeed, The Points Guy also conducted a survey that found 55 percent of flyers believe the air travel process is more stressful than going to work. 44 percent said air travel is more stressful than going to the dentist or spending time with their in-laws, and 37 percent would rather go to the DMV than brave another terminal. Since airports are the gateway to vacations that are supposed to be relaxing, these aren’t encouraging stats. But that’s where airport spas come in.
Be Relax is a spa service in the airport, created to meet one of travelers’ greatest needs: a space to relax and recover before a long flight, or during layovers. The spa offers treatments ranging from massages and facials to nail care, pedicures, and even showers for travelers who simply want to wash the plane’s smell off their bodies. They also sell comfort and wellness-oriented accessories like neck pillows, sleep masks, and massage tools, as well as beauty devices for facelifts and cryotherapy.
“Be Relax was founded with a vision to create a tranquil space within the typically stressful and bustling environment of airports,” Lucie Putryk, Be Relax’s Digital Marketing & Communications Manager, tells Matador Network. “We aim to provide wellness and relaxation to all travelers without necessitating membership, lounge access, or the need for advance booking.”
While treatment times vary, they usually last anywhere from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. While walk-in guests are welcome, booking in advance can be a smart way to ensure you get a treatment exactly when you want it. Be Relax is also part of Priority Pass, a network of benefits including lounge access and restaurant discounts. Priority Pass perks come with certain travel credit cards, or can be purchased individually. Priority Pass cardholders can simply walk into a Be Relax location, present their card, and enjoy a limited menu of services completely for free.
Spas in airports are much needed
It doesn’t take much explaining or convincing to make a solid case that airports do, in fact, need spa and wellness services. Putting a relaxation space in one of the least relaxing environments known to man is such a no-brainer, it’s hard to believe airport spas haven’t been more common before. And indeed, interest in services like this is still growing rapidly.
“The demand for wellness services in airports is increasing, reflecting a growing trend of seeking self-care and health generally and also while traveling,” says Putryk. “After COVID-19, people’s approach to wellness and self-care changed, leading to a heightened interest in airport spas and relaxation services.”
There isn’t one type of traveler more inclined than others to seek out airport spas. Airport stress affects just about everyone, and the spa’s clientele is as diverse as the regions they serve. According to Putryk, however, couples tend to be among the most common patrons, as well as frequent travelers looking for a much-needed respite from the airport grind. And you don’t need to sign up for a hour-long massage to reap the relaxation benefits. Some of the most refreshing treatments are just quick 20-minute pit stops.
“I only had time for a 20-minute massage,” one patron wrote in a testimonial, “and they made a world of difference in just that short time.” Another customer wrote that a massage treatment was the perfect way to end a long trip feeling renewed.
Even if it’s just a brief treatment, and you only stay for less than a half hour, it’s pretty clear that airport spas like Be Relax are making an impact on travelers’ well-being. While there are other spas out there providing similar services, like XpresSpa, Enroute Spa, and d_parture Spa, don’t be surprised if more start showing up. After all, when it comes to relaxing in airports, the demand will likely always outrun the supply.
Where to find Be Relax spas
You can find Be Relax spas in over a dozen cities across North America, Europe, and Asia.
In North America:
- Atlanta International Airport
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- Laguardia Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- New York JFK International Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Philadelphia International Airport
- San Diego international Airport
- Toronto Pearson Airport
- Changi Airport
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport
In the Middle East:
- Doha Hamad International Airport
- Dubai international Airport
- Muscat International Airport
- Frankfurt Airport
- London Heathrow Airport
A full and updated list of locations is available on Be Relax’s website.